20 films about shipwrecks and maritime disasters

The sea attracts us with its boundless blue expanse and the romance of distant wanderings. But it can be deadly, as military and civilian sailors and directors know best. The confrontation between man and the water element in the cinema always promises a spectacular drama. This list contains the best films about shipwrecks and disasters, where bad weather raging at sea sends to the bottom of the ship, but is not able to crush the strength of the human spirit.

Greyhound (2020)

In 1942, a sea convoy carrying cargo for the Allies moves to Liverpool. The captain of the destroyer is no longer young, but he was in the combat zone for the first time. The ships must overcome a dangerous area where the “wolf pack” – the Nazi submarines – is operating. The forces of the Americans are clearly not enough to cope with a dangerous enemy, but there is extremely unpleasant news for the Kriegsmarine – a hero performed by Tom Hanks himself leads the allied naval battle. The action movie was filmed on ships of the Canadian Navy.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Greyhound

Genre:
Military, Action, History

Actors:
Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Elisabeth Shue…

Country:
USA, China, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.0

Age Limits :
12+


Underwater (2019)

An underwater earthquake destroys a drilling station operating at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The crew is selflessly fighting for life. In addition to the collapsing station and the dark depths, the employees of the underwater laboratory are also threatened by mysterious unknown monsters. The monsters appearing in this new movie about a sea disaster are inspired by the books of writer Howard Lovecraft.

Original title:
Underwater

Genre:
Horror, Action

Actors:
Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, T.J. Miller…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.9, IMDb – 5.8

Age restrictions:
18+


In the power of the elements (2018)

A guy and a girl get to know each other in Tahiti. A joint trip on a yacht should be the beginning of a beautiful romantic story, but a hurricane hits a ship with a couple in love, blowing the yacht far out to sea. Young people have to fight against the ruthless elements not only for love, but also for life itself. The plot is based on real events described in the biographical book by Tami Ashcraft.

Original title:
Adrift

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, melodrama, adventure, biography

Actors:
Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Thomas…

Country:
Hong Kong, Iceland, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Stix (2018)

In a cool foreign film about a shipwreck, an ambulance doctor goes on a sailing yacht to a tropical island. Along the way, the woman meets a fishing trawler that was shipwrecked due to a storm. About a hundred people are on board. The heroine transmits a distress signal, but help does not come for too long. The woman decides not to continue the journey, but to help the fishermen escape.

Original title:
Styx

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Suzanne Wolf, Gedion Odur Vekesa, Kelvin Mutuku Ndinda…

Country:
Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Malta

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.8, IMDb – 6.5

Age limit:
16+


And the storm came (2016)

A Coast Guard officer is about to marry his girlfriend, but on the eve of the wedding he decides to go to the shipwreck of an oil tanker and rescue the dying crew. Residents of the city, aware of the specifics of the area and the vagaries of nature, consider the mission to be pure suicide. The dramatic film about the disaster on the ship is based on the real feat of the Coast Guard.

Original title:
The Finest Hours

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, history

Actors:
Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Deepwater Horizon (2016)

An engineer goes on a business trip to an oil platform in the middle of the ocean. Due to management miscalculations, an emergency situation arises: a fire starts at the facility , and oil spills into the ocean. The team will have to minimize the consequences of the disaster and try to survive in a fiery hell. The story is based on true events – the explosion of an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Original title:
Deepwater Horizon

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, history

Actors:
Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien, Kate Hudson …

Country:
Hong Kong, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Icebreaker (2016)

A Russian feature film about the ocean and a shipwreck tells the story of the survival of Soviet sailors in Antarctica. The icebreaker was seriously damaged from a collision with an iceberg and was trapped in ice. For almost one and a half hundred days, the crew will have to fight for life in conditions of terrible cold. The action takes place during the day, although the real events underlying the film took place during the polar night.

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Pyotr Fedorov, Sergey Puskepalis, Anna Mikhalkova …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
12+


Cruiser (2016)

The Second World War is moving inexorably towards its end. An American cruiser, having delivered a strategically important cargo to a military base, returns to its point of departure, but a Japanese torpedo hits it, resulting in a shipwreck. The crew of the cruiser has to wait for help under the scorching sun on the high seas, and flocks of hungry, angry sharks are already gathering around.

Original title:
USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, military, history

Actors:
Nicolas Cage, Tom Sizemore, Thomas Jane…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.6, IMDb – 5.3

Age restrictions:
18+


In the heart of the sea (2015)

One of the best shipwreck movies is a highly rated thriller about the epic confrontation between humans and nature. An American whaling sailboat is attacked by a huge sperm whale. The ship goes to the bottom, the surviving crew transfers to the boats. Remoteness from the coast, thirst and hunger will push sailors to commit the most desperate and unpredictable acts in order to save their lives.

Original title:
In the Heart of the Sea

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, adventure, biography, history

Actors:
Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy …

Country:
USA, Australia, Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
12+


Crossing (2014)

The historical drama centers on several people fleeing the horrors of the civil war and the communist regime in China. The path of the fugitives lies on the saving island of Taiwan. Together with one and a half thousand other passengers, the heroes find themselves on board the Taiping steamer. The shipwreck crosses out all hopes for salvation. The ship is sinking, and no one is in a hurry to help the dying people.

Original title:
The Crossing

Genre:
History, drama, melodrama, military

Actors:
Zhang Ziyi, Song Hye-gyo, Takeshi Kaneshiro …

Country:
China, USA, Hong Kong

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Black Sea (2014)

A submarine captain who has lost his job receives a lucrative offer. Cunning businessmen lure the sea wolf on an expedition to the bottom of the Black Sea, where a submarine with gold on board lies sunken after a shipwreck. The hero decides to take advantage of the opportunity. At the head of a team consisting of Russian and British sailors, the captain sets off, not even suspecting what dangers lie ahead.

Original title:
Black Sea

Genre:
Thriller, drama, adventure

Actors:
Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Konstantin Khabensky …

Country:
UK, Russia, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Hope will not fade away (2013)

An adventurer surfs the seas on his yacht. Suddenly, a collision with a container pierces the side, and a storm that has flown in causes serious damage to the ship. The hero boards the raft. Stocks of food and water have dried up, and sharks are already circling nearby. Despite the hopeless situation, the man is determined to survive. More than a dozen producers and just one actor were involved in the creation of this exciting film about a storm in the ocean.

Original title:
All Is Lost

Genre:
Adventure, drama

Actors:
Robert Redford

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.9

Age limit:
12+


Life of Pi (2012)

The four-Oscar-winning adventure drama is worth watching for all fans of picturesque, heartfelt cinema. The family of an Indian zoo owner is forced to emigrate to Canada. A ship carrying animals gets caught in a storm. The boy manages to escape by boarding the boat, but a Bengal tiger was on board with the boy . Predator and man are waiting for long wanderings on the sea, filled with a constant deadly threat for both.

Original title:
Life of Pi

Genre:
Fantasy, drama, adventure

Actors:
Suraj Sharma, Irfan Khan, Ayush Tandon…

Country:
USA, Taiwan, UK, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.9

Age limit:
6+


Titanic (mini-series, 2012)

A large-scale multi-part film about a shipwreck was created for the centenary of the disaster of the famous Titanic liner. Three episodes show the story of the epic tragedy from different perspectives – the rich first class, less wealthy passengers and the ship’s crew, and the final series brings together all the storylines. For the filming of the TV show, Europe’s largest indoor water tank was built.

Original title:
Titanic

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Peter McDonald, Stephen Waddington, Glen Blackhall …

Country:
UK, Canada, Hungary

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.0

Age Limits :
12+


Abyss (2012)

A fishing trawler sank off the coast of Iceland. Of the entire crew, only one sailor survived. The hero was doomed to die, but the waves threw the man onto an uninhabited volcanic island. In the harsh northern nature, even solid ground under your feet does not guarantee safety. The plot of the dark Icelandic drama is inspired by the true story of a fisherman who managed to survive in icy water and on a deserted island.

Original title:
Djúpið

Genre:
Action, drama

Actors:
Olavyur Darri Olafsson , Joey Johannsson, Stefan Hallur Stefansson …

Country:
Iceland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
12+


Poseidon (2006)

A powerful killer wave has overturned the Poseidon luxury cruise ship. Passengers, following the instructions of the captain, patiently await the arrival of help. Caught on board a card sharper  expects to find an easier way to escape. Spectacular thriller about a maritime tragedy is a remake of the film “Catastrophe of Poseidon”, filmed in the 70s based on the novel by writer Paul Gallico.

Original title:
Poseidon

Genre:
Action, thriller, adventure

Actors:
Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Jacinda Barrett…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 5.7

Age restrictions:
16+


K-19 (2002)

Soviet nuclear submarine crashes in the waters of the Atlantic. It will take incredible courage on the part of the sailors to survive on their own, as well as to avoid a catastrophic radiation leak. Fighting for life, you have to look for non-standard solutions, overcome your own weaknesses and even pacify the brewing riots. The historical drama accurately conveys the disturbing spirit of the era and the strength of character of Soviet submariners.

Original title:
K-19: The Widowmaker

Genre:
Thriller, drama, military, history

Actors:
Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard…

Country:
Great Britain, Germany, Canada, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
12+


The Perfect Storm (2000)

The top maritime disaster films continue with the bright and dynamic movie about the storm, shot by Wolfgang Petersen, the director of “Submarine”. The team of a fishing vessel, in search of a rich catch, climbs far from their native shores. On the way back, the ship gets into an incredibly strong storm. A natural disaster with thirty-meter waves threatens to destroy everyone, but strong-willed fishermen will fight for their lives to the last.

Original title:
The Perfect Storm

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, adventure

Actors:
George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Titanic (1997)

The legendary disaster film with a poignant love line that won eleven Oscars and held the title of the highest grossing film in the world for more than a decade. A tramp artist wins a card ticket and goes to America on the famous transatlantic liner. On board, a young man falls in love with a first-class girl. The flame of feelings between the couple does not fade, even when the ship that has received a hole goes to the bottom.

Original title:
Titanic

Genre:
Melodrama, history, thriller, drama

Actors:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.4, IMDb – 7.8

Age restrictions:
12+


White Squall (1995)

Graduates of the Ocean Academy under the guidance of an experienced captain go on a round-the-world trip on a sailing brigantine. A measured trip turns into a real nightmare when multi-meter waves rise due to the storm. The guys transfer to boats and lose friends, but in the face of a natural disaster, for the first time they become a single team.

Original title:
White Squall

Genre:
Drama, adventure

Actors:
Jeff Bridges, Caroline Goodall, John Savage…

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.6

Age limit:
12+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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